Baku, June 24, AZERTAC
Ukraine's Andriy Yagodka believes stamina played a key role when he surprised himself by clinching the men's individual sabre title 15-10 against favourite Tiberiu Dolniceanu at the Baku 2015 European Games on Tuesday.
"I hoped that I would win gold, but I did not really expect it," Yagodka said afterwards. "It was hard, and I started to have doubts that I could beat him before the break. But then at the end, he surrendered. I think I just had more strength than he did."
Yagodka had earlier surprised top seed Alberto Pellegrini of Italy 15-11 in the semi-finals while Dolniceanu knocked out another Italian, Luigi Miracco, by the same score in the other final four match.
Both Italians won bronze medals, with 27-year-old Miracco ranking his result highly.
"I'm extremely proud about this bronze medal, because I'm sure that in eight or 12 years' time this competition will be of the highest standard, comparable to the Olympic Games," he said.